Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This Is What Qualifies As a Quiet Year In Arab-Israeli Conflict

It's really sad to consider that a year that saw hundreds of rockets fired into Israel and dozens of attempted terror attacks on Israel as a quiet year and an improvement on Israel's security situation, but that's what 2009 was.

It was the first year in a decade without a successful suicide bombing.

For 2009, outside of Operation Cast Lead, 160 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza. That's down from 2,048 in 2008 and excludes the 406 fired in January 2009 as part of Hamas' ongoing assault during Operation Cast Lead.

The West Bank wasn't entirely quiet either, despite Fatah maintaining control there. Molotov cocktails were often thrown at Israelis.
The most common type of attack in the West Bank, the report noted, was the throwing of Molotov cocktails, which made up 90 percent of attacks in the territories in 2009.

While there were no suicide attacks in 2009, 15 Israelis were killed throughout the year, most of them during Operation Cast Lead. This is in comparison to 36 casualties in 2008. Last Thursday, Meir Chai was gunned down in a drive by shooting on Road 57 near the settlement of Shavei Shomron.
So, while many will look at the misery of Palestinians living in Gaza, remember that but for Hamas' rocket war against Israel, Israel would not have engaged in defending itself by going after Hamas that was firmly embedded in civilian populations.

The West Bank was improved, although the Palestinian Authority could do quite a bit more to crack down against the extremists in their midst though it must be noted that Fatah's AAMB is responsible for much of the violence in the West Bank against Israel). There were hundreds of attacks on Israelis in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, the reduction in terror is linked to the activities of Israel's security services. However, the Shin Bet also noted the contribution of Palestinian security services in fighting terror. In 2009, 633 attacks were reported in the West Bank, compared with 893 last year and 947 in 2007.

Also notable was the fall in the numbers of attacks using live ammunition (shooting and explosive devices): 22 shooting attacks were reported in 2009 and 13 attacks using explosive devices, compared to 83 and 54 respectively in 2008. However, the Shin Bet noted that most of the incidents in the West Bank and in Jerusalem were simple attacks, thus more than 90% of all attacks (578) were Molotov cocktails.
The Palestinians continue their low level war against Israel where they can, and they continue to attempt attacks against Israel on a regular basis.

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